Pirlo: I Think Therefore I Play [A Sycophant's Book Review]

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Amazon Kindle Edition of Pirlo’s Autobiography -$9.99 and Delivered Instantly

My love of Andrea Pirlo is well established and all-encompassing.  I pre-ordered the hardcopy of the book the day it went on pre-sale in the UK like two months ago and expect it to be here by the end of the month.  On its publication date I tried to download the kindle version from the UK and the US Amazon stores.  UK told me they only sell to UK addresses and US did not have it at all.

On a whim Friday night I checked US Amazon again, it was there!  Downloaded it instantly, started reading and barely stopped until it was done.   Seriously, I had finished it about 10 hours after I started it and that includes sleeping and seeing the World Cup.

It was fantastic, feeling more like a well written long-form magazine article or a behind the scenes documentary than an autobiography.  Actually, it is like a guy having a few beers telling war stories at the pub.  He hold you enthralled without really trying.

Unlike say Zlatan’s autobiography, there is very little on his childhood or his family.  He goes into great detail about his desire to keep his family’s privacy protected and therefore does not really talk about them.  He has precious few mentions of (ex?) wife and their two children and those mentions actually seamlessly flow with the broader story.

The book reads exactly as he plays: elegant, direct, everything held close to the vest and perfectly delivered.  There is no demeaning anyone, no chest-thumbing, no bravado, just funny stories and interesting insights.  There is not a lot of in-depth, introspection; settling of scores; or ego stroking.  Even when he does take on someone, it is still in a funny, intelligent way.  Much more snarky, sarcastic but good-natured mocking; than cowardly, brutal attack where the people cannot respond.

For example,  he talks about he and his Milan/Azzurri teammates would play practical jokes on each other…  OH BTW, PIRLO IS FLIPPING HILARIOUS, shockingly so…  The stuff he and the boys used to do with Rino Gattuso is laugh out loud literally comic gold.   The kids at goal.com  have one of the Gattuso excerpts on their site  this is the writing style throughout the book.. nothing harsh but funny.

The other surprising thing about his writing are the many, many and varied pop-culture references both related to Italian and more global pop culture.  He references movies, history, politics, science, tv, etc and it all works (luckily some of them are footnoted for the non-Italian reader) .

When addressing his own experiences with racism, being called a Romai (gypsy) or talking about Mario and Kevin Boateng experiences, he forcefully expresses himself and his feelings but with a very eloquent simplicity.    It is honest and compelling.

I think that my favorite story is at the end when the Qatari try to sign him to play in Qatar.  It was brilliantly told like he had just landed in the land of Oz and the muchkins were singing to him.  An Example:

“Andrea, who many kids have you got?”

“Two”

“Well, we’ve an excellent English language school in Qatar”

“I actually quite like hearing them speak Italian”

“No problem. We’ll build a new one and only employ a Italian teachers.”

It is a very brief but incredibly interesting insight into how the Qatari work, especially given the current speculation/proof of bribery for the world cup.

Anyone who loves soccer, loves good story-telling or just loves to laugh should enjoy this book.   I was afraid that I would like him less or be way less amused with him after reading it like I was with Zlatan after reading his autobiography.  Just the opposite, I adore Pirlo more.  Also I really want to drink with him

Today, I Met the World Cup..

She is 13 pounds of solid gold perfection.

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ME WITH THE MY NEW BFF (Ignore how horrible I look) REPPING US SOCCER and ROCKING MY RUN DMB HAT

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Coca-Cola and FIFA have been taking trophy tour around the globe with their only fan stop in America being in LA.  I literally texted every day for a month for tickets.  TOTALLY WORTH IT.

They had a hologram presentation on the history of the Cup which I only caught part of to record and the video is not great but it was cool to relive so many great World Cup Moment.  The big cheer in the middle was a clip of Clinton Dempsey dancing in 2006

WC Group D Update – ITALY’S 2014 Song Kicks ENGLAND’S Bum

The most important Updates from the World Cup

Italian Pop-Rock Band Negramaro (think more Nickleback than Aerosmith) released the official 2014 Italian World Cup Anthem Un Amore Cosi Grand 2014 (A Love So Great 2014).  Money raised from the sale of the single will go to ALS and MS research in Italy.

 


Also England released their anthem, a new version of Take That’s Greatest Day sung by random Brit popstars and former players.  It is nice idea.. it is an awful version.

We are just waiting for the US “unofficial” anthem to kick all their assess

 

Get Well Soon Don Vito

Per the League,  MLS has announced Commissioner Don Garber is fighting prostate cancer.

“I hope through my experience that I will be able to create awareness of prostate cancer and encourage men to get regular testing, the surest way to ensure a successful outcome for those who get the disease.”

 

FIGHT HARD DON VITO, FIGHT HARD…  Michael/Sonny hard, not Frado hard

 

 

**updated with better information**

Phil Schoen Fills My International Soccer Loving Heart with GLEEEEEEEEE.. COPA AMERICA 100 In US

In a blog post that I have been waiting to see for LITERALLY YEARS!!!!   Go read his post (afterwards come back and read this one)

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 my facebook post from Oct 24, 2012..

 

Phil Schoen, who is good people and would not lie to me and break my heart, says that the DEAL IS FINALLY DONE!!!  It will be announced very soon..  I will, in fact, cry at the formal announcement.  CRY REAL BIG TEARS OF PURE JOY!

I get that this happens in the summer of 2016 which is MLS primetime but so help me soccer gods, if MLS/USSF pull some shady, team selection nonsense, I will LOSE it..

We field the BEST team legitimately possible, like it is a World Cup… because well it mine as well be.  It will be the summer after the Gold Cup and before the Confed Cup (we are halfway to the ConFed cup after winning the 2013 Gold Cup), so we can win that then have a brilliant set of summer tournament matches with some of the best teams on the planet, head to summer 12017 in Russia at the Confed and then back in 2018 for WC2018.

Phil quotes Marca listing venues for the tournament but cannot independently confirm those location.

  • Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.,  (home for me)
  • Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif., (almost home for me)
  • MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., (couch surfing opportunities)
  • Citrus Bowl, in Orlando, Fla., (I hate Orlando and NOT MIAMI?)
  • R.F.K. Stadium in Washington D.C., (HOME SWEET SOCCER HOME…)
  • Reliant Stadium in Houston. (I have some amazingly humbling memories of that complex and zero to do with sports)

They seem pretty safe bets though I would expect Solider Field or somewhere middle America instead of two in Cali.  AND PLEASE SOCCER GODS… RFK YES… FedEx… no…  RFK YES… FedEx… NO 

That is my next four summers locked down.  God knows after the presumed Disaster in the Jungle this summer, we will need it.

 

UPDATE:  SUNIL CONTINUES TO RAIN ON MY PARADE.. SUNIL STOP DOING THAT..  COME ON NOW… NO ONE LOVES A BLATANT USSF MONEY GRAB LIKE YOU, SO WE KNOW IT WILL HAPPEN

[Yes I know he didn't take a salary for years... but USSF went from $55 year to $10,000 for the good stuff a year,  OVERNIGHT.. LITERALLY OVERNIGHT..  Screwing the longtime fans who were there  before 2010 in favor of late comers with lots of cash...]    

This is what the USSF President for Life and Blatter BFF tweeted this morning:

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